As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Shock Factor

I was in another room this morning when I heard one of my dear little boys shout, "you suck!" to one of his siblings. It was early morning, the day was still a blank slate, and I was full of calm. My response was a simple, "please don't talk that way," and the behavior was corrected. Would that all these such situations were as peaceful. Sadly they are not. And sadly, much of the fault is my own.

That sentence crept into our older boys' vocabulary last week, and the first time I heard it I was not so graceful. I was so shocked that my little boy was speaking this way that I raised my voice in a way that I'm sure made him think he had committed a capital crime. "DON'T you EVER say that to ANYONE!" This morning I couldn't help but think about how shock can color a situation, and how often I allow that to push me over the edge prematurely, escalating what gshould be a simple correction into a declaration of war.

This is especially meaningful to me these days because I can really feel the Lord convicting me of how often I react to a situation without thinking. I allow so many things in my daily life to control the way I deal with things, often leading me to a much more emotional (and much less reasonable) action. I have been trying instead when confronted with a disciplinary challenge to give myself a quick minute to take a deep breath, to help me be realistic. For example, instead of:

Bang! "Wahhhh....MOOOOOOOOM!"
Me: heavy sigh, panicked and running down the stairs, "WHAT JUST HAPPENED?"

I am trying this:

Bang! "Wahhh....MOOOOOOOOOM!"
Me: Deep breath, quick prayer, wait to see what happens next.

One of three things will happen: there will be no further calls for me and we'll all continue as we were; the child, still distressed, will come find me and tell me what's going on; or they will continue screaming from where they are, possibly escalating, and I will go to them to sort things out. What I'm finding is that the simple act of taking a moment helps me to compose myself enough to respond with compassion and reason, and to not be a slave to my emotions. Conflict and chaos causes a reaction in me, and when I don't take the time to put things into perpective, I am allowing myself to be tossed about. And that's not their fault, it's mine. How on earth will my children learn not to allow their emotions to get the best of them if I don't first show them that it is possible to be peaceful in spite of the storm?

I am so grateful for the little things the Lord uses to teach me to lean on Him. I am so sorry for the ways in which I am harder on my older children, who are the first to exhibit any negative behaviour associated with the ages they reach before their siblings, and hope they can forgive me for the times my shock has caused me to be overly harsh on them.

Please please please Lord, help me to use these examples and mistakes of early childhood to mold me into a firm but compassionate guide for these little souls, as they continue to walk towards older childhood and the discovery of their freedom. May my actions (and reactions) help them learn to make good decisions on their own, and always point them to you.

Fun times with our oldest boys

No comments :

Post a Comment